OIT Technology News: February 2012

OIT Newsletter

OIT Technology News: February 2012 - Page 1

Need Computer Help? New services/Extended hours

Come in! We're OpenThe IT Help Desk continually seeks to improve our service to the campus community.  We know how vital technology is to the entire campus community and how frustrating technology issues or questions can sometimes be. We’ve made several changes over the past year to meet the support needs and will continue to look for ways to improve.

Last year we moved to Fondren Library West in order to be more accessible for the campus and to allow us to extend our business hours. We assembled a great team of student workers to help provide service throughout our business hours but also during the evenings and weekends.  We introduced our online chat support to resolve general questions and issues via secure IM.  We transitioned administrative responsibility for several service items to our Help Desk team to empower them to resolve your issues without escalating them to other IT Administrators.  We also eliminated voicemail which increased the chance of getting through to our staff on the phone from 55% to 95%!  Overall, we made some great strides in providing better, more efficient and timely help.

We’re going to keep that momentum going as we begin this new year.  The following are just a few of the changes that are being implemented.

Schedule Appointments for Desktop Support Technicians

Scheduled ClassesWe are also implementing a scheduling process which will allow the Help Desk staff to schedule an appointment with the Desktop Technician while they are on the phone with you! If they determine that an issue needs assistance from our Desktop team, they will be able to schedule that appointment at that time.

New Alerts for the Help Desk

AlertAlthough we make every attempt to resolve your issue as quickly as possible, we noticed that some tickets were taking longer to resolve as the help desk staff was answering phones, supporting customers via chat, etc. In order to ensure that all tickets sent to the help desk via email or via help.smu.edu are handled quickly, we’ve implemented an alert in our Help Desk system.  If a ticket assigned to the help desk team is not addressed in some way within a few hours, it will alert us via email. That will help us ensure that you get a timely resolution to your questions.

Improving our Online Chat Support

Online Help via ChatWe will be making several changes to our online chat support service. We’ve noticed that sometimes response to a chat session is taking longer than necessary. We are making some changes to ensure that enough students and full time staff are logged in and ready for your questions.

In addition, we will be deploying a desktop icon to many of the IT Managed machines in the next few weeks. This button will allow faculty and staff to initiate the chat session and even begin a remote support session right from their desktop!

Phone Support added for Evenings and Weekends

Contact SupportBeginning on February 6, our student worker team will be available in the evenings and weekends by phone in addition to walk up and chat support.  So you can still call the main Help Desk number (214-768-4357) and reach someone on the phone.  They are able to resolve password issues and general computing issues during the evening and weekends. If the request is an emergency, they are able to contact our support team. If it is not an emergency, they’ll open a request for our full time staff to respond during the next business day.

We will continue to improve our services to ensure that you have the support you need, when you need it most.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Rachel Mulry (rmulry@smu.edu).

Improved Guest Wireless Service Coming Soon

SMU1911 is the SMU Guest wireless network. This unsecured network allows anyone to connect with or without an SMU ID and password. Because SMU1911 does not meet necessary security parameters, it was only made available in certain locations on campus. However, there is definitely a need for a guest wireless network in all buildings on campus to accommodate our guests and visitors. As a result, a new system is being implemented that will replace the SMU1911 network and extend a guest wireless network throughout campus.

This new system will allow unique accounts to be generated just for this wireless network. The passwords would be emailed to the individual and would be used to authenticate via a portal page.

OIT is currently testing the new solution and then will develop the implementation plan. We are working towards having a guest wireless solution in place by the beginning of the Fall semester. More details will be included in the April newsletter.

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